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Parish of Buittle









Valuation Roll, 1819
1342;  Gift of Douglasdale (LAN), Carmichael (LAN, Selkirk Forest (SLK), Lauderdale (BWK), Bedrule (ROX), Eskdale (ROX), Staplegordon (DMF), Buittle in Galloway (KCB), Romanno (PEB), and of the (burgh) ferme of Rutherglen (LAN) 
Name Role
David II, king of Scots (d. 1371) Grantor
William Douglas, earl of Douglas and Mar (d. 1384) Beneficiary
William Douglas, lord of Liddesdale (d. 1353) named person (transaction)
Archibald Douglas, lord of Galloway, earl of Douglas (d. 1400) named person (transaction)
Extracted from:

Lands & Their Owners - Buittle Parish
By P. H. McKerlie - Published in 1877.

There are various derivations of the name Botel, now Buittle.


Buitle is mentioned in the resignation and subsequent 1342 charter (See panel) ; On 26th May 1342, Hugh Douglas 'the Dull' resigned a substantial package of estates, representing the sum total of his landed possessions, to the crown, in the presence of King David II of Scotland, at an assembly in Aberdeen. Three days later, at Dundee, King David granted these estates to Hugh's nephew William, lord of Douglas, and clarified the legal succession of these lands, entailing them in the male line.

There was a confirmation by Pope Benedict XIII. of a charter by Thomas, bishop of Galloway, dated 16th July 1381, granting the church of St Colmanel of Butyll to the Abbey of Sweetheart, and of a charter by Archibald, Earl of Douglas, dated 23d August 1397, transferring his right of patronage.

Craignair Hill quarry is celebrated for its granite, which was worked for long by the Liverpool Dock Trustees. It is now made use of to supply various places. That great work, the embankment of the river Thames, London, was to a considerable extent built with it. Dalbeattie may be said to have had its rise to its present position from this quarry. It is six miles from Castle-Douglas. Two streams effect a junction at the town, being the river Urr from the west, and Dalbeattie burn from the east. On the banks of the Urr, six miles south-east from Castle-Douglas, is the village of Palnackie, which may be called the port of Dalbeattie. It has a quay which admits vessels drawing seventeen feet of water at spring, and twelve feet at neap tides. (Admiralty Survey of Coast.)

The Comyns were also at one time in possession, but this could only have been a temporary occupation, in the same way, as they held for short periods other places, and through ignorance are sometimes called the owners. John of Badenoch, known as the "Black Comyn," married Devorgoilís only daughter. When King Robert the Bruce succeeded to the throne, he granted the lands of Botill, &c., in 1309, to Sir James Douglas of Douglas ; and his son, King David, confirmed them to William, first Earl of Douglas. He also granted Barchar (Barchain) a farm, to Robert Corbet, quhilk John Barker forfeited. In 1346, Edward Baliol recovered the estate, and took up his residence at Buittle Castle. It therefore could scarcely have been razed to the ground by Robert I. Permission was granted to Edward Baliol to exercise the privileges of regality over Buittle, &e., in the 22nd of Edward III. of 1349. (Ayloffe ancient Charters.) Baliol failing in his object to obtain the Crown of Scotland, on the 30th January 1355-6, he surrendered his right to it, along with his private estates to Edward III. for 5000 meks, with £2000 a-year. Edward Baliol died at Whitley near Doncaster, Yorkshire, on the 17th May 1363. The Douglas family retained the lands. Their estates as known, were forfeited in 1455, and in 1456 the lordship of Galloway was annexed to the Crown. After this we do not find any owners for about one hundred years, and it would therefore appear that the crown retained possession. It will be seen under Threave that King James III. settled on Margaret of Denmark, his Queen, as part of her dowry, the customs, &c., of Threave, and it is more than probable that the barony of Buittle, &c., were included and retained as royal property until bestowed on the Maxwells, who as shown under Munches, obtained a grant of Buittle, &c., from Queen Margaret, Robert Maxwell being tutor to her son, King James V. Then on the 5th August 1550, Robert, son of Robert Maxwell, had retour.

In early times, Munches formed a portion of the Buittle estate owned by the Lords of Galloway, and their descendant in the female line, John Baliol. The ancient history so far as known will therefore be found under Buittle, which latter is now merged in the estate of Munches. The last owners to be found were the Douglasses, and after their forfeiture in 1455, it is supposed that, with the lordship, these lands were also annexed to the crown. Queen Margaret (daughter of King Henry VII. of England), gave a grant of the office of steward of the shire, etc., with lands to (Robert) Maxwell, as the tutor of her son, King James V., and on the 5th August 1550, we find that Robert, heir of Robert Maxwell, had retour of the same, viz., the barony of Buittle, Munches, Barchain, Marenach, Castelgowre, Balgreddan, Guffockland, Corwarie, Cullinaw, Cuil, Knock (Knox) Meikle and Little, Corbieton, Clone, &c.
There is a statement that previously the Regent Morton had possession, and after he was beheaded, his lands in Galloway, &c., were forfeited in 1581, and passed to John, styled Lord Maxwell. We find that a John Maxwell did succeed Robert ; also, that on the 19th September 1604, John, son of John Maxwell, succeeded, and had retour of Buittle.

The ancient history of the lands called Almorness we do not possess, but Chalmers in his "Caledonia" mentions Maclellan of Almorness, at the time of the Reformation. After the Annexation Act of 1587, as is well known, the hangers on at Court obtained large grants of the church and other lands. Amongst these grants there was one, " Daitet 8 October 1587, viz., ane charter granted be his Majestie under the Great Seal to James Douglas of Drumlanrig, his airs and assignees, of all and haill the ten merk land of Almorness, with the mains, place, houses, biggins, &c., to be halden in feu." We have obtained no earlier information, no doubt from the fact that the land was formerly a portion of the Buittle or other estate. The next notice is dated 25th January 1614, when Alexander Kirkpatrick of Kirkmichael was served heir to his mother, Margaret Cairns, in the third part of Orchardtoun, alias Irisbuittle. We may mention here that Orchardtoun was one of the farms, and we often find the owner so styled. Of Almorness we find, on the 10th August 1642, that James of Innerwick, heir and brother of William Maxwell of Kirkhouse, had retour. He was followed, on the 17th May 1653, by William Maxwell, heir of James ErIe of Dirletoun, his gudesirís brotherís sone. On the 15th September 1663, he was succeeded by his son Robert. After this, on the 22d October 1695, James, Duke of Queensberry, had retour of the lands of Almorness. On the 21st November 1699, we find George, son of Robert Maxwell of Orchardtoun. Again, on the 4th September 1729, John Burne of Broomhill had sasine of the lands and tennandrie of Almorness and following, on the 24th August 1730, we find him called John Birnie of Brownhill in liferent, and John Birnie, his eldest son, in fie, of the land of Almorness, for the principal and land of Her Elstoun (Earlstoun?) in warrandice. The first of this family is stated to have been the Episcopal minister of the parish of Caerlaverock when Prelacy was in the ascendant, and that he married a daughter of the bishop of Galloway. He purchased the property, and the retours, &c., previously given by us must have referred to the superiority. The family ended in a daughter and heiress, who became the owner, in confirmation of which, Mrs Katherine Birnie Mitchelson of Broomhill had sasine on the 24th October 1796, of the lands of Almerness and others, on precept from Chancery. The next owner was James Douglas, who was in possession in 1799. He is styled of Orchardtoun. As mentioned under Orchardton, parish of Rerwick, he was the grandson of William Douglas, the founder of the town of Castle-Douglas, parish of Kelton, to which we refer, as also to Orchardton, for an account of himself and his descendants. The farms owned were Almorness, Orchardtoun, Little Castlegowar, Caigtoun, Clonyards, and Blackbelly. We find him still owner in 1819. To his daughter Mary he left the farms of Nethertoun, South Glen, North Glen and HoIm, Ordchardton Mains, &c. She married William Rose-Robinson, Clermiston, Mid-Lothian. He was an advocate, and Sheriff of Lanarkshire. They had issue---
George, born 1814.
Elizabeth, married ---- Frere, and since his death again married.
Mary, died young.
Matilda, married William Leslie of Warthill, Aberdeenshire, and has issue.
Caroline, married ---- Davidson, son of ---- Davidson of.
Sarah, married Alexander Davidson of Desswood, Aberdeenshire, the brother to her sisterís husband.
The eldest son George succeeded to Almorness on the death of his mother in 1864. He entered the Church of England, and for some time was rector of Bisley, Surrey. He married, in 1849, Jane Eleanor, only daughter of the late Boyd Miller of Colliers Wood, Surrey, and has issue- William, born in 1851, with others whose names we have not got. Mrs Robinson died at Rome in 1874.

In 1806, John Maxwell of Munches and Terraughty took some preparatory steps to obtain for him the baronetcy to which he was the heir as next in line to Sir Robert Maxwell of Orchardtoun, but owing to his conduct not being quite satisfactory, the intention was given up. In 1806 he was in Quebec with his company. His brother, Robert, at one time lived at Brigend of Dumfries, now known as the burgh of Maxwelltown, but nothing more can now be learned. The baronetcy is therefore dormant. Thus ended one of the once leading branches of the Maxwell family. In 1819, James Douglas of Orchardtoun, parish of Rerwick, was the owner, having purchased the farms. He was succeeded by his eldest daughter, Sarah, who married Lieutenant-Colonel Maxwell.

Littleknox seems to have been owned by others at different tinies. Alexander Gordon was the proprietor, and on the 12th August 1793 his relict, Mrs Margaret MíNaucht, had sasine of the manor place in security of her annuity of £40. In 1799 it had been purchased by Sir William Douglas of Castle-Douglas. In 1819 his heirs were in possession. Cuil and Littleknox ultimately passed to his niece Elizabeth, the only daughter of his brother, Samuel Douglas of Netherlaw, parish of Rerwick. She married Sir Robert Abercromby of Birkenbog, and had issue.

The earliest notice found is the sale of Craigtoun, &c., by Sir John Seyton of Barnis, under charter dated 11th August 1593, to Sir Robert Maxwell of Spottes, parish of Urr. An account of the manner in which Sir John Seyton obtained, the land will be found under Breoch. Then, on the 31st October 1615, Robert, son of Robert Maxwell of Spottes, was infeft in Caigton. Following this is principal sasine, dated 4th May 1675, in favour of Margaret Herries, spouse to William Herries of Flock, and George, his son.
We learn nothing more until 1799, when James Douglas of Orchardtoun owned the land then forming part of Orchardtoun. In 1819 James Douglas of Orchardtoun was the owner.
The farms of Caigton and Flock are now owned by Mrs Matilda Maithand-Kirwan of Geiston, parish of Kelton.

on the 15th September 1656, that Amaucht Michell and his spouse had sasine of the hand of Castlegour. Again, on the 15th May 1672, that Elizabeth Maxwell, daughter of Umquhile William Maxwell of Castellgour had sasine in fie, and Elizabeth Lytle, her mother, in liferent. On the 4th December 1712, Agnes Maxwell, daughter to James Maxwell of Kilfean, and Edmund Maxwell, son to Janet Maxwell, who was ane ither daughter of James Maxwell, had sasine of Castlegower. They were succeeded on the 22d July 1725 by James Maxwell, younger of Carnsalloch, brother to the deceased Edmund Maxwell, younger of the same. He had sasine of half of the land of Castlegower. The next owner was Sir Thomas Maxwell of Orchardtoun, baronet, parish of Rerwick, who had sasine on the 21st October 1751 of the six merk land of Little Castlegowar, &c. In 1799 Little Castlegowar, with other lands, were owned by James Douglas of Orchardtoun, and Meikle Castlegowar by Mrs Agnes Maxwell of Munches. In 1819 the farm was possessed by the heirs of Sir William Douglas, baronet. The farm is now owned by Mrs M. E. Maitland-Kirwan of Gelston, parish of Kelton.




See also:

  • Buittle Castle

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